POLLUTION: A California official says 2020 was a “really, really bad ozone year” for Southern California despite a 21-day stretch of smog-free days in Los Angeles that overlapped coronavirus stay-at-home orders. (Los Angeles Times)

COAL: Wyoming officials defend spending millions of dollars to promote the coal industry as other areas of the state budget face drastic cuts. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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ELECTRIFICATION: Nevada’s recently released climate plan outlines a transition away from natural gas, which a state official says “has to be sensitive to costs.” (Nevada Independent)

UTILITIES:
PG&E faces more fines and possible criminal penalties for “aggressive” logging and grading work without permits in the Santa Cruz Mountains fire area. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
• About 161,000 Southern California Edison ratepayers and more than 11,800 PG&E ratepayers could have their power cut today due to the risk of wildfires from extreme weather. (Associated Press)

PUBLIC LANDS: New revenue data from the Interior Department indicates payments to Western states from drilling and mining on public lands decreased 26% in fiscal year 2020 compared to 2019. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A Central California county says a state-approved property tax exclusion for developing solar energy resulted in a loss of $103 million in tax revenues over 10 years. (Tehachapi News)

NUCLEAR: New Mexico residents continue to oppose a proposed temporary nuclear waste facility, fearing it will become permanent. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

OIL & GAS: New Mexico regulators fine a Permian Basin oil and gas operator $125,000 for commingling oil from different wells without a permit. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

EFFICIENCY: A Colorado builder of energy efficient houses says the construction industry is “going into the next normal.” (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla is reportedly weeks away from opening a showroom and service center in Colorado Springs. (Colorado Springs Gazette, subscription)

EQUITY: Tesla’s first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impact report shows the company’s U.S. leadership is 83% male, and 59% white. (The Verge)

COMMENTARY:
A New Mexico business leader says the energy industry is the key to the state’s economic recovery. (Las Cruces Sun News)
A former journalist opposes the City of San Diego’s utility franchise agreement, saying residents could end up paying the highest utility rates in the state. (Times of San Diego)
A Wyoming renewable energy advocacy organization says tax increases on wind energy projects will jeopardize the state’s ability to compete for revenue-generating projects. (Casper Star-Tribune)
A New Mexico solar policy advocate says solar energy with battery storage can provide power more easily and at a lower cost than the new gas turbine proposed by a Las Cruces utility at its generating station. (Las Cruces Sun News)

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Lisa Ellwood

Lisa is a Lenape and Nanticoke Native American freelance journalist, editor and writer currently based in the U.K. She has more than two decades’ experience working in corporate communications and print and digital media. She compiles the Western Energy News daily email digest. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University; her specializations include data journalism and visualization. She is a member of the Native American Journalists Association, Investigative Reporters & Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Union of Journalists (U.K.).